Pettersen has sights on No. 1

By Associated PressFebruary 8, 2012, 1:52 pm

MELBOURNE, Australia – Suzann Pettersen of Norway opens the LPGA season Thursday with her sights set on the formidable task of overtaking top-ranked Yani Tseng.

And she knows it might take more than one season to get there.

Pettersen and Tseng tee off in the Women’s Australian Open with a strong field at Royal Melbourne Golf Club including world No. 4 Christie Kerr, No. 7 Jiyai Shin, No. 9 Stacy Lewis, No. 10 Brittany Lincicome and Australia’s former world No. 1 and four-time champion Karrie Webb. Pettersen, who has been No. 2 to Annika Sorenstam, Lorena Ochoa and now Tseng, says she has what it takes to assume the top ranking.

“It’s always been a dream of mine,” she said. “And I definitely think my game is there.

“Yani’s got a great head start over all of us and it’s probably going to take more than a season to catch up with her.”

Tseng has shown off her new, more powerful swing at Royal Melbourne, honing the tweaks to her technique as she familiarized herself with the sandbelt course.

Tseng started 2011 with a title at the Women’s Australian Open and went on to win a total of 12 tournaments, including two majors and seven on the LPGA to finish a long way clear atop the rankings.

The 23-year-old Taiwanese started preparing for the 2012 Australian tournament - which kicks off a three-week Asian swing before the LPGA Tour moves to U.S. soil next month in Arizona - by watching the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne’s Composite course last November.

Pettersen said she tried to ignore Tseng’s approach, preferring to concentrate on her own game.

“I look at my game and what I can do better to get the most out of it every day,” she said. “She’s a great No. 1, she’s very aggressive, very fearless and obviously has a lot of confidence at the moment. But I’ve beaten her before so I know you can do it.”

Pettersen is now looking for consistency, transferring her good form on the tour to major titles.

“I look back at 2011 as a pretty good year,” she said. “I had three wins, there was a lot of consistent golf but I wasn’t really in contention for the majors, which was a bit painful.

“That’s one thing I would like to do, try to prepare better in the weeks before the majors so I can go in less stressed about how the game is feeling.”

Pettersen also paid close attention to the Presidents Cup in preparation for this week’s tournament, noting the number of balls that sped across the glassy greens.

“I may play a bit more conservatively. You have to take what the course gives you each day. I know it can swap around very easily and change drastically from morning to afternoon,” she said.

Also in the field this week are new Australian Ladies Masters champion Christel Boeljon of The Netherlands and 14-year-old New Zealand amateur Lydia Ko, who recently became the youngest winner of a pro event with victory in the New South Wales Open.

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Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

“I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

“I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.

Masters victory

Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative

Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ

Green jacket tour

Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket

Man of the people

Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief

Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together

Ace at 17th at Sawgrass

Growing family

Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018

Departure from TaylorMade

Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade

Squashed beef with Paddy

Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'

Victory at Valderrama

Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

Well, this is a one new one.

According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

“No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

“If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

“I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.